Sunday, April 4, 2021

Bay Area native Shibahara wins her biggest doubles title

   Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan earned their tour-leading third title of the year and the biggest of their careers today.
   The fifth-seeded Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 23-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, beat eighth-seeded Hayley Carter, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Luisa "Gwen" Stefani of Brazil 6-2, 7-5 in the Miami Open, a WTA 1000 tournament.
   Aoyama, only 5-foot-1 (1.54 meters), and Shibahara were winless in their three previous tournaments after beginning the year with 13 consecutive victories and two titles.
   The Japanese pair improved to 6-1 in WTA finals with a six-match winning streak. The loss came against Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke, then 44, in San Jose in 2019.
   Aoyama and Shibahara have not lost a set against Carter and Stefani — former All-Americans at North Carolina and Pepperdine, respectively — in three matches this year, including the Abu Dhabi final in January.
   Juniors — Top-seeded Juncheng Shang of China downed unseeded Ethan "Allen" Quinn of Fresno, Calif., 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 to win the Easter Bowl in San Diego.
   Quinn's winning streak ended at 11 matches. He won last week's International Open of Southern California in San Diego.
   In the boys 16 doubles final, Ethan Schiffman of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., in the San Diego area and Emon van Loben Sels of Sacramento, Calif., defeated David "You Don't" Saye of Charlotte, N.C., and Eli "Manning" Stephenson of Louisville, Ky., 6-7 (tiebreaker score not available), 6-1, 6-1.
   Colleges — The Stanford women, who have won the last two NCAA titles and three of the last four, lost to Oregon for the first time in school history and suffered their second consecutive loss for the first time since 2016.
   Uxia Martinez Moral outlasted Sara Choy, a junior from Palo Alto, Calif., 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 on Court 4 to give the No. 46 Ducks (12-5, 5-3 Pacific-12 Conference) a 4-3 victory over the No. 25 Cardinal (10-2, 6-1) in Eugene, Ore.
   Meanwhile, No. 7 Pepperdine handed California its first home loss of the season, 4-3. Shiori Fukuda gave the Waves (13-2) a 4-0 lead with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Valentina Ivanov on Court 3. The Bears fell to 13-4.
   In a men's match, host Stanford routed No. 17 Arizona 5-1 to improve to 6-3 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-12. The Cardinal's Axel "Uri" Geller defeated No. 63 Jonas "Brothers" Ziverts 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Court 1.

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